People tend to think of black as the favoured shade of fashionistas—but many a style icon has fallen for the wayward charms of classic red. “There is a shade of red for every woman,” said Audrey Hepburn. “When in doubt, wear red,” said legendary American designer Bill Blass. This season, red is back on fashion’s agenda in a serious way—not in discrete dabs, but unapologetically bold and head-to-toe.
Red has long been a signature hue for Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, who arguably made his name at the brand with the oversized, fire engine red puffer coats he showed in his first collection. For the autumn winter ‘21 season, red was on his mind once again—there were knee-skimming red dresses, red tartan wraps, and ripped jeans with red cotton poking through underneath. And, of course, the ubiquitous red puffer jacket.
At Matthew Williamson’s second collection for Givenchy, pre-fall 21, red was a serious fixture too—sharply tailored suits in look-at-me-crimson, and cropped bomber and trouser combos finished in apple red, worn with a red top handle clutch, and finished off with a red manicure and a red lip. At Versace, Donatella Versace’s pre-fall collection was filled with a smattering of red pieces, as was Dolce & Gabbana’s.
Integrating this trend into your own wardrobe is a case of “go big or go home”. Cast wallflower tendencies to one side and embrace a tailored red suit, like this one by Golden Goose, refining the final look with a chic black knit and classic black accessories. Same idea goes for eveningwear—embrace a flashy fabric like velvet or satin, then finish the look off with a more demure embellished black clutch, natural hair and makeup, and simple gold jewellery. Aje’s signature voluminous day dresses are available in a fabulous palette of cherry red this season—the perfect piece of wedding guest attire (just add heels), or for a relaxed Sunday brunch (just add flats).
The trick is to find the shade of red that best matches your complexion—a similar undertaking to unearthing the perfect red lipstick. Those with warmer skin tones will likely find orange-based shades of red more flattering, colours like ruby and scarlet, while cooler skin tones will suit blue-based reds like cherry and crimson. Whichever hue works for you, the most important thing is to never break the cardinal rule of wearing red: do it with absolute confidence.
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